Government

A&A

SBA releases final women-owned small business rule

With the publication recently of a final rule in the Federal Register, the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin implementation of its women-owned small business (WOSB) contracting program. The agency expects the program to be available for WOSBs in early 2011.
A&A

Prepaid debit cards: Even the IRS wants to use them

Consumers nervous about debt now are using debit cards more than credit cards, and that trend may continue as people become more aware of the costs of credit cards.
Tax

Organizations ask Congress to ban tax strategy patents

National organizations representing consumer, taxpayer, charitable, financial planning, and tax advisor groups have united to urge Congress to enact legislation to ban tax strategy patents.
A&A

Obama signs bill designed to jump-start small business

President Obama signed into law this week the Small Business Jobs Act, which is intended to help small businesses by way of tax breaks and credits, as well as make it easier for small businesses to obtain much-needed loans and hire additional employees.
Tax

Bush tax cut dithering might lead to shrinking paychecks

The clock is ticking on the Bush tax cuts, and the likelihood that a vote to extend them will happen before November is not looking good. Why the urgency? Because the Internal Revenue Service needs lead time to create, publish, and distribute tax tables for the first payroll of 2011.
A&A

Warren named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau czar

Is Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren a pioneer of consumer financial protection issues or is she too critical of Wall Street and the banking industry? Americans will have to find out while she is on the job.
A&A

PCAOB staff directed to develop proposal to ask Congress to make disciplinary hearings public

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board's acting chairman recently announced that he has staff to develop a proposal to send to Congress a request that it consider a change to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that would enable the PCAOB's disciplinary hearings and related proceedings to be made public.
Practice

National Defense Authorization Act expands military family leave

Now that more employees may be eligible for FMLA leave, it’s a good time for employers to review and update all of their FMLA-related policies to ensure they are in compliance with the NDAA 2010 and other federal and state regulations.
Tax

Super Bowl vs. state of Michigan: A ball of confusion

More than four years after Super Bowl XL, the state of Michigan has filed liens against the Super Bowl Host Committee, charging that it failed to pay payroll taxes.

U.S. Reps who are also CPAs call for Comptroller General to be a CPA too

A bipartisan effort has resulted in legislation that could require the next comptroller general to be a CPA.
Tax

Obama announces Treasury nominees

After some candidates have dropped out of contention, President Barack Obama has announced three high-level nominations for Treasury Department posts. These include: Helen Elizabeth Garrett for assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, Michael S. Barr for assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions, and George W.
Tax

Geithner sworn in as new Treasury Secretary

In a decisive vote of 60 to 34, members of the U.S. Senate chose to ignore disclosures that Timothy Geithner might have been guilty of cheating on his taxes for four years, and gave him the nod as the next Secretary of the Treasury.From 2001 to 2004, Geithner worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and received fees for services on which no Social Security and Medicare tax were withheld.

Budget shortfalls hammering state and local governments, nonprofits

As Congress and the Treasury Department struggle to stem the damage of the economic crisis, state and local governments are in their own world of hurt.Unlike the federal government, state and local governments must balance their budgets every year. Nonprofits, which bolster the needy with programs that supplement government assistance, are feeling the pain too.States are facing deficits of more than $40 billion in fiscal 2009 budgets, which are just weeks or months old.

AGA research study predicts bright future for XBRL use in state and local governments

Using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) in public sector financial reporting is the subject of a research study, released in September 2008 by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).This report, XBRL and Public Sector Financial Reporting: Standardized Business Reporting: the Oregon CAFR Project, demonstrates the feasibility of developing and using an XBRL taxonomy to tag data in a state's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
Tax

Tips for maximizing your taxes... and possibly your patriotism

Is it a matter of patriotism to pay higher taxes? Here's what one federal judge said. "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible.

GASB seeks comments on new proposals to transfer AICPA guidance

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is seeking comments on two new Exposure Drafts that set forth proposals to transfer accounting and financial reporting guidance currently contained in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) auditing literature into the GASB's accounting and financial reporting literature for state and local governments.

AICPA taking nominations for Outstanding CPA in Government Award

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is taking nominations for the annual Outstanding CPA in Government award. The nomination period has been extended to May 30, 2008.Three awards will be given – one for each level of government (federal, state and local). The awards will be presented at the Government Accounting and Auditing Conference in Washington D.C. in August.
Technology

New AGA blog will address government accountability and transparency

The Association of Government Accountants (AGA), has introduced the AGA Weblog, a first-of-its-kind addition to the government and taxpayer blogosphere. The blog aims to bring state, local and federal government financial managers into discussions about issues, solutions, and priorities aimed at making the government more fiscally transparent.
Tax

Home office deduction makes Top Ten list for government reform

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has announced its 2008 Top 10 Rules for Review and Reform. The Top 10 are drawn from over 80 rules nominated by small business owners and their representatives as part of the Regulatory Review and Reform (r3) initiative. The recommendations have been transmitted to the appropriate federal agencies for their action.“The strongest and most compelling cases made our Top 10 list of rules,” said Thomas M. Sullivan, Chief Counsel for Advocacy.

Taxpayers distrustful of government financial reporting

The federal government is failing to meet the financial reporting needs of taxpayers, falling short of expectations, and creating a problem with trust, according to survey findings released by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).The survey, Public Attitudes to Government Accountability and Transparency 2008, measured attitudes and opinions towards government financial management and accountability to taxpayers.

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